Feast: 13th June
Family Unit Meeting: Third Wednesday
St. Anthony is popularly known as a wonder worker and venerated all over the world as the Patron Saint for lost articles. He is depicted as a person carrying Child Jesus close to his heart and conversing with him. Anthony (originally Ferdinand) was born in 1195 in Lisbon as the son of Martin de Bullone, an army officer, and Mary of Tavera. At a very young age, he was placed in the community of the canons of the Cathedral of Lisbon. Right from the beginning, he was burning with a desire to become a martyr. He joined the Franciscan order in 1221 and took the name Anthony. His desire to become a martyr did not materialize as he was down with the fever on his way to Africa and was forced to abandon the voyage and had to disembark in Italy where he met his master, St. Francis of Assisi. Inspired by his master, he went about preaching the word of God. He was such a powerful preacher of the Word that there is even a tradition that the fish from the sea used to come up to the surface of the water to hear him when he preached at the seashore. At the Papal court, his preaching was hailed as a “Jewel case of the Bible” and he was commissioned to produce his collection of sermons, Sermons for Feast Days (Sermones in Festivitates). Even after his death on 13th June, 1231 at the age of thirty six his tongue remained glistened and looked as if it was still alive and moist, apparently a sign of his gift of preaching. He was canonized in 1232, the very next year after his death by Pope Gregory IX.